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Old 04-16-2020, 12:04 PM   #1
bigdog
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Default Winterizing home for winter ?

I know I'm getting ahead of the curve here, and we're just coming out of the Winter, but one cannot plan ahead to soon !

Next winter I plan to go South for the months of Dec-Apr, had enough of these cold winters.......

That said, what are the things I need to do to winterize my home ?
House is 15 yrs old, well insulated, 4 BR, 4 Baths, Gas/Propane furnace,
with drilled Well.

I plan to have someone, check the house on a weekly basis.
Looking for a checklist of to-do items.

Asking Forum members who are in same situation or been through before.

THANKS !
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:24 PM   #2
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It would help if you provide a bit more info. Do you plan to completely shut down everything, including heat? Or will you leave the heat on at a very low setting (i.e. ~45-50 degrees).
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:53 PM   #3
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leave electric on but shut off individuals items at the wall. Keeping the electricity running through the wires keeps the mice from chewing them, as soon as they hit the wire ZAP!

blow out water lines (recommend someone do it) shut off water heater first, if able to afford keep heat at like 50 for the sake of your plaster and/or sheetrock mud. rv antifreeze the waste lines (again plumber will do it with a blow out)
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Old 04-16-2020, 01:04 PM   #4
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Default Be careful!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
I know I'm getting ahead of the curve here, and we're just coming out of the Winter, but one cannot plan ahead to soon !

Next winter I plan to go South for the months of Dec-Apr, had enough of these cold winters.......

That said, what are the things I need to do to winterize my home ?
House is 15 yrs old, well insulated, 4 BR, 4 Baths, Gas/Propane furnace,
with drilled Well.

I plan to have someone, check the house on a weekly basis.
Looking for a checklist of to-do items.

Asking Forum members who are in same situation or been through before.


THANKS !
We hired someone to watch our property...house and dock....from Nov. through April...we now have a house which is uninhabitable, with over $100k in damages....insurance is covering this, but the stress has been unimaginable, and we don’t know when we’ll be able to move back in due to delays caused by the pandemic. We have wonderful friends and contractor watching out for us, but this experience has been unreal. Please be careful!
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:52 PM   #5
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Even if you decide to keep the heat on you MUST shut the water off, the pump circuit breaker and the main shut off valve. I would get Wifi T-stats and cameras.

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Old 04-16-2020, 04:23 PM   #6
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I gotta say this is thread is kind of a buzz kill, I get you want info but it's APRIL......lol

Don't worry you'll get all the info you need when the time is right, this is one of those topics that spins in circles every fall....

Here's to lots of sunshine and light winds this season !!!!
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:10 PM   #7
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Default Remote Monitoring

If you are going to keep the house somewhat heated I strongly recommend some type of monitoring for power outage or heating system problems. I've used a "Freeze alarm" for years with pretty good success. It uses a "pots" telephone line to call up to 3 phone numbers if the inside temp falls below a level you set it up for.

This past fall after having multiple phone system failures, I purchased a $99.00 Motorola Multisensor. https://motorolanetwork.com/mc4000.html

This device uses a Cellular interface ($5.00 month cell charge thru ATT). to call you in the event of a low temperature situation In addition to the low temp it also gives you the following alarms

Shock Sensor (I set it sensitive enough to detect footsteps in the house)
AC power failure. The unit has a internal battery with several days backup
Flood sensor with optional water probe
Light sensor, It tells me if its daytime or night time. I suppose you could use it to monitor lights on a timer.
Relative humidity.

All this is reported via a cellular interface and the unit will send Texts, email's and voice alerts.

I've used this system thru this past winter with fantastic results. I now have redundancy for my freeze alarm and I'm not tied to having an active phone line or AC power.

One note of caution, If you are going to heat the house while you are not there, set the alarm point sufficiently high to allow a cushion before the house freezes and damages pipes. I set mine at 50 deg which I believe will afford me at least 24 hours before a hard freeze occurs, in that time I can either get a service contractor to the house or get there myself to repair any issues.

YMMV
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:39 PM   #8
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Default Simple solution but workable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie T View Post
If you are going to keep the house somewhat heated I strongly recommend some type of monitoring for power outage or heating system problems. I've used a "Freeze alarm" for years with pretty good success. It uses a "pots" telephone line to call up to 3 phone numbers if the inside temp falls below a level you set it up for.

This past fall after having multiple phone system failures, I purchased a $99.00 Motorola Multisensor. https://motorolanetwork.com/mc4000.html

This device uses a Cellular interface ($5.00 month cell charge thru ATT). to call you in the event of a low temperature situation In addition to the low temp it also gives you the following alarms



Shock Sensor (I set it sensitive enough to detect footsteps in the house)
AC power failure. The unit has a internal battery with several days backup
Flood sensor with optional water probe
Light sensor, It tells me if its daytime or night time. I suppose you could use it to monitor lights on a timer.
Relative humidity.

All this is reported via a cellular interface and the unit will send Texts, email's and voice alerts.

I've used this system thru this past winter with fantastic results. I now have redundancy for my freeze alarm and I'm not tied to having an active phone line or AC power.

One note of caution, If you are going to heat the house while you are not there, set the alarm point sufficiently high to allow a cushion before the house freezes and damages pipes. I set mine at 50 deg which I believe will afford me at least 24 hours before a hard freeze occurs, in that time I can either get a service contractor to the house or get there myself to repair any issues.

YMMV
Charlie T
For seniors who are challenged technologically, it would be so helpful if somebody could recommend a system that ‘s workable but not so technical that the average person is lost. We would like something that we could access via cell phone or computer that would let us know what the temperature is, whether there’s an obvious power failure, the furnace has quit, just that stuff. We probably don’t need cameras all over the place, but maybe that’s not a bad idea. I can’t live through what we’re going through right now another time, and relying on a human being to do the monitoring is not the answer. If any of you are in this business or can recommend someone or you can suggest a workable solution, we would be very interested and grateful. Thanks. Oh yes, we have a Generac.

Sue
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default Nest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
For seniors who are challenged technologically, it would be so helpful if somebody could recommend a system that ‘s workable but not so technical that the average person is lost. We would like something that we could access via cell phone or computer that would let us know what the temperature is, whether there’s an obvious power failure, the furnace has quit, just that stuff. We probably don’t need cameras all over the place, but maybe that’s not a bad idea. I can’t live through what we’re going through right now another time, and relying on a human being to do the monitoring is not the answer. If any of you are in this business or can recommend someone or you can suggest a workable solution, we would be very interested and grateful. Thanks. Oh yes, we have a Generac.

Sue
Look into Nest thermostats and cameras. If you have back up power these would be perfect and are easy to use. Nest has good customer support also.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:59 PM   #10
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Default Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Lakeboater View Post
Look into Nest thermostats and cameras. If you have back up power these would be perfect and are easy to use. Nest has good customer support also.
We’ll check it out.....assume there might be varying degrees of coverage and difficulty, and it might just be the answer. Thank you so much.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
For seniors who are challenged technologically, it would be so helpful if somebody could recommend a system that ‘s workable but not so technical that the average person is lost. We would like something that we could access via cell phone or computer that would let us know what the temperature is, whether there’s an obvious power failure, the furnace has quit, just that stuff. We probably don’t need cameras all over the place, but maybe that’s not a bad idea. I can’t live through what we’re going through right now another time, and relying on a human being to do the monitoring is not the answer. If any of you are in this business or can recommend someone or you can suggest a workable solution, we would be very interested and grateful. Thanks. Oh yes, we have a Generac.

Sue
Sue to clarify. The Multisensor is super easy to use. There is a simple online log in that shows you the status of all the sensors, temp, AC power, humidity etc. This is in addition to the automatic reporting in case of an alarm condition. No extensive technical knowledge needed to set it up or operate it. Any 14 yr old can set it up in 5 min. an older adult who can get on a website may take a few min longer.
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Old 04-17-2020, 12:00 AM   #12
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First...TURN OFF THE WATER SUPPLY!
(Actually, as mentioned above, turn off the water heater first.)

The big problem to avoid and manage is loss of heat.

Ask yourself how that can happen.
1) power failure
2) furnace failure

It the problem is a power failure you will need a notification system that is immune to the loss of power. A temp alarm or monitor that relies on the internet will not work if the modem/router go dark when the lights do. A universal power supply (UPS) can provide battery power for these for a while.

My house has a fire alarm system that uses a land line to report. Whenever the power goes out I get a text. When it's restored I get another text. No power means no heat so the clock is ticking after the first text. The phone lines can go down with the power lines if the tree branch is extra angry. In that case, I am vulnerable.

We also have a gas generator and 10 gallons of fresh, stabilized gas with instructions ready to wheel out for use. So far the generator has done a great job. We have had zero power failures since we bought it!

If the problem is a furnace failure my cold alarm will dial out through the alarm panel and notify my family and me. So far I have not gotten that call but I have a plan in place for it.

I do not expect a speedy resolution to a furnace failure. The repair folks may be busy addressing other emergencies. There is a part on my propane forced hot air furnace that I'm told is a frequent point of failure. I have that part and a paper service manual ready and waiting next to the furnace.

To slow the cooling of my house I have six electric space heaters with a folder of instructions. The instructions include pictures I have taken with the space heaters exactly where they should be positioned to provide the most heat to the plumbing.

The generator and space heaters require a person to go to my house and do the work. I have two sons and each one lives an hour and fifteen minutes away. They know what to do.

My friend four doors down had two freeze ups at his house. Both times the toilets all cracked and the refrigerator defrost drain got screwed up. He wisely had his water turned off. He now has a temperature monitoring system that relies on the internet. He has no UPS.

Another important thing to do prior to cold weather is disconnect the hose from the hose bib outside. The hose bib is likely a "sill cock" which has it's shut off valve seat deep enough in your cellar so it won't freeze. When you turn the handle outside it closes the valve inside the cellar. Any water remaining in the section of pipe from the shut off to the outlet will drain out. That design ensures that the section of pipe will not freeze.

If you leave the hose attached it cannot drain out. If it freezes the pipe will split between the valve in the cellar and the cellar wall. You will not know that this has happened. When you go to use the hose in the spring your cellar gets treated to a shower!

I hope this helps!

(And yes, I am retired. )
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Old 04-17-2020, 12:51 AM   #13
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Default Go cold

What's in the house? Valuable oil paintings, other art work, may suffer in the cold. Barring that, drain the pipes, turn everything off same as we all do with camps. You should have a "guy" who watches over, same as a camp, plows, shovels, etc to prevent vandalism and provide fire dept access. Check with neighbors. It's easier to have the same guy checking several houses in the same neighborhood. If you like electronic systems, that's fine, but you still need a guy to call when your cell phone says "oops". More reassuring to have the guy send you a routine email "Checked again today after the storm, all OK".
I used to do all this stuff myself. Now, my guy knows all my subs: plumber carpenter, electrician. yard crew, etc. and manages the property year round.
If you can go to FL for three months, you can afford property management. Much better than arguing with the insurance company about removing the tree from you r living room after it sat there for a month because nobody was there. Under your homeowners insurance, you have a duty to protect the property. How will you do that?
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Old 04-17-2020, 01:37 AM   #14
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My concern about having a person checking is that the furnace could quit five minutes after he leaves.

How often would one have the house checked?

Insurance might make one close to whole again money wise but there can be a lot of aggravation along the way.
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
We hired someone to watch our property...house and dock....from Nov. through April...we now have a house which is uninhabitable, with over $100k in damages....insurance is covering this, but the stress has been unimaginable, and we don’t know when we’ll be able to move back in due to delays caused by the pandemic. We have wonderful friends and contractor watching out for us, but this experience has been unreal. Please be careful!
Why?


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Old 04-17-2020, 01:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
First...TURN OFF THE WATER SUPPLY!
(Actually, as mentioned above, turn off the water heater first.)

The big problem to avoid and manage is loss of heat.

Ask yourself how that can happen.
1) power failure
2) furnace failure

It the problem is a power failure you will need a notification system that is immune to the loss of power. A temp alarm or monitor that relies on the internet will not work if the modem/router go dark when the lights do. A universal power supply (UPS) can provide battery power for these for a while.

My house has a fire alarm system that uses a land line to report. Whenever the power goes out I get a text. When it's restored I get another text. No power means no heat so the clock is ticking after the first text. The phone lines can go down with the power lines if the tree branch is extra angry. In that case, I am vulnerable.

We also have a gas generator and 10 gallons of fresh, stabilized gas with instructions ready to wheel out for use. So far the generator has done a great job. We have had zero power failures since we bought it!

If the problem is a furnace failure my cold alarm will dial out through the alarm panel and notify my family and me. So far I have not gotten that call but I have a plan in place for it.

I do not expect a speedy resolution to a furnace failure. The repair folks may be busy addressing other emergencies. There is a part on my propane forced hot air furnace that I'm told is a frequent point of failure. I have that part and a paper service manual ready and waiting next to the furnace.

To slow the cooling of my house I have six electric space heaters with a folder of instructions. The instructions include pictures I have taken with the space heaters exactly where they should be positioned to provide the most heat to the plumbing.

The generator and space heaters require a person to go to my house and do the work. I have two sons and each one lives an hour and fifteen minutes away. They know what to do.

My friend four doors down had two freeze ups at his house. Both times the toilets all cracked and the refrigerator defrost drain got screwed up. He wisely had his water turned off. He now has a temperature monitoring system that relies on the internet. He has no UPS.

Another important thing to do prior to cold weather is disconnect the hose from the hose bib outside. The hose bib is likely a "sill cock" which has it's shut off valve seat deep enough in your cellar so it won't freeze. When you turn the handle outside it closes the valve inside the cellar. Any water remaining in the section of pipe from the shut off to the outlet will drain out. That design ensures that the section of pipe will not freeze.

If you leave the hose attached it cannot drain out. If it freezes the pipe will split between the valve in the cellar and the cellar wall. You will not know that this has happened. When you go to use the hose in the spring your cellar gets treated to a shower!

I hope this helps!

(And yes, I am retired. )
If you are interested in coming out of retirement, then you’ve got my vote to be our next Director of FEMA.
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Old 04-17-2020, 02:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winilyme View Post
If you are interested in coming out of retirement, then you’ve got my vote to be our next Director of FEMA.
FEMA? As in Fishing Eating Motorcycling and Aggravating (my wife)?

Sign me up!

Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:00 PM   #18
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This has been a thread before but i have plumber blow pipes and shut off all water and heat . Twenty years with no problems( oops actually ten years ago i had a plumber how didnt blow pipes enough and had a leak he has since retired ) i do leave electricity on but unplug all appliances
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:55 PM   #19
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I don't understand why people leave the heat on in a house that will be unused all winter. You will probably pay 60% to 70% of you regular winter heat bill. That is thousands of dollars. Plus you will spend the winter worrying that the heat is off.

Drain the water, put liquids like shampoo or cleaning fluids in the tub in case they ooze. The hardest part is removing the food.

People will tell horror stories about liquid crystal TVs cracking (they don't). Plaster breaking (it doesn't) Flooring pulling up (nope).

One problem is a single cup coffee maker. There is always water in them and they are very hard to drain.
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I don't understand why people leave the heat on in a house that will be unused all winter. You will probably pay 60% to 70% of you regular winter heat bill. That is thousands of dollars. Plus you will spend the winter worrying that the heat is off.

Drain the water, put liquids like shampoo or cleaning fluids in the tub in case they ooze. The hardest part is removing the food.

People will tell horror stories about liquid crystal TVs cracking (they don't). Plaster breaking (it doesn't) Flooring pulling up (nope).

One problem is a single cup coffee maker. There is always water in them and they are very hard to drain.
As with many things in life, everyone has different reasons for doing things they do. I leave the heat on, set at 48. We have a relatively new home that is very well insulated. With the exception of January and parts of early February, we can go weeks without the heat coming on. Solar gain during the day helps offset heat loss at night, and there's lots of thermal mass in the foundation which is absorbing "heat" from the ground. In my case, the cost to shut everything down would be roughly equivalent to what it costs me to keep things on low heat.

While we are gone, our offspring use the house for winter activities, snowmobiling, skiing, etc.. So it works for us for them to be able to use it when desired. (Though not this year due to lack of snow in the area for the snow machines)

I am admittedly a "geek" who enjoys technology and home automation. I have Ecobee thermostats that allow me to remotely monitor the temperature and energy use. I have several cameras that allow me to watch the inside and outside of the house while I'm gone. Sensors in the exterior doors tell me if a door has been opened or closed. And I can control several lights and plugs remotely.

All of this has been done with relatively inexpensive components available at Best Buy, Lowes, etc.. No ongoing subscription or monitoring fees. I've helped several, non-technical friends install similar setups so it's not that complex, and the technologies are getting easier for the average homeowner to install and use.

Is there one weak point in my system? Yes. All of this requires an internet connection to work. But if I lose power or internet, I know almost immediately due to the simple fact that I can't "reach" my devices. As a previous poster noted, if things are not restored in a few hours, I can call one of my sons to check on things. Both are only a little more than an hour away.

In our case, we opted not to install a whole-house, automated generator. In the 9 years that we've lived here full time, we've never lost power for more than a few hours. We do have a transfer switch at the circuit panel, and a manual start generator that is large enough to run the necessary circuits and appliances when needed. The aforementioned sons can start it if/when needed.

Oh, and we have a wood stove in the basement that can keep things warm for a long time if we have a furnace problem.

This setup works for us and our needs. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
We’ll check it out.....assume there might be varying degrees of coverage and difficulty, and it might just be the answer. Thank you so much.
I wonder if one of those devices will work in the RV you're going to live in?

Last edited by newposterguy; 04-21-2020 at 09:15 PM. Reason: left out word
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:53 PM   #22
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Default Hmmmmm...who are you?

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I wonder if one of those devices will work in the RV you're going to live in?
New poster guy, I am not sure who you are, but if you teach in the Sarasota school system, you should not pick on your poor old mother. 🤨 The device should work just fine in the RV.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:43 PM   #23
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Default A reminder may be necessary

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New poster guy, I am not sure who you are, but if you teach in the Sarasota school system, you should not pick on your poor old mother. 🤨 The device should work just fine in the RV.
If he/she is who you think it is, a not so gentle reminder may be necessary: you brought him into this world and if poor ol' mom keeps being picked on, you can take him out of this world. 😉😁

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Old 09-20-2020, 04:01 PM   #24
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Default Winter house concerns.....

Circling back on my original Post earlier this summer about heading South this winter, and home concerns, see below !

QUOTE:
Next winter I plan to go South for the months of Dec-Apr, had enough of these cold winters.......

That said, what are the things I need to do to winterize my home ?
House is 15 yrs old, well insulated, 4 BR, 4 Baths, Gas/Propane furnace,
with drilled Well.

I plan to have someone, check the house on a weekly basis.
Looking for a checklist of to-do items."


New Notes....

1. I plan to have someone locally check the house at least once a week.
2. Will be leaving heat on and set to 52 degrees.
3. Have 'Temperature' sensors in house tied to alarm system (Monitoring Serv)
4. Have 'Water' sensor placed near hot water heater, in house tied to alarm
system (Monitoring Service)
5. All toilets will be drained and each shut-off valves closed
6. All inside walls with water pipes (kitchen, baths), that are against outside
walls, will be insulated
6. Driveway will be plowed after major snow storm
7. Some inside lights will be on timers
8. Have notified Propane provider about winter plans, so deliveries can be
scheduled.

Other suggestions appreciated, thanks !!!
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:16 PM   #25
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Mail and other (unexpected ?) deliveries?
Let PD know house is unoccupied and who has access. Some will do routine house checks.
Have your watchman vary his/her schedule
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Circling back on my original Post earlier this summer about heading South this winter, and home concerns, see below !

QUOTE:
Next winter I plan to go South for the months of Dec-Apr, had enough of these cold winters.......

That said, what are the things I need to do to winterize my home ?
House is 15 yrs old, well insulated, 4 BR, 4 Baths, Gas/Propane furnace,
with drilled Well.

I plan to have someone, check the house on a weekly basis.
Looking for a checklist of to-do items."

New Notes....

1. I plan to have someone locally check the house at least once a week.
2. Will be leaving heat on and set to 52 degrees.
3. Have 'Temperature' sensors in house tied to alarm system (Monitoring Serv)
4. Have 'Water' sensor placed near hot water heater, in house tied to alarm
system (Monitoring Service)
5. All toilets will be drained and each shut-off valves closed
6. All inside walls with water pipes (kitchen, baths), that are against outside
walls, will be insulated
6. Driveway will be plowed after major snow storm
7. Some inside lights will be on timers
8. Have notified Propane provider about winter plans, so deliveries can be
scheduled.

Other suggestions appreciated, thanks !!!
Best of luck to you....hope it works out well. We had been doing this for 15 years successfully, but last December, the perfect storm hit, and we had frozen pipes and resulting flood on first floor. We had installed a new generator and had someone paid to watch the house, and he must have had had other fish to fry.....so as a result, I am very nervous about leaving this year. My excuse is the pandemic....but the thought of going through that ordeal again is too much. We are finally pretty much settled here again...it’s been exactly 9 months, and the contractor did a fantastic job, so we have no complaints. We thought we were all set before, but...not so. We are installing cameras throughout and hope that covers everything. At our ages, the old coping mechanisms are a bit shot!
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:10 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
Best of luck to you....hope it works out well. We had been doing this for 15 years successfully, but last December, the perfect storm hit, and we had frozen pipes and resulting flood on first floor. We had installed a new generator and had someone paid to watch the house, and he must have had had other fish to fry.....so as a result, I am very nervous about leaving this year. My excuse is the pandemic....but the thought of going through that ordeal again is too much. We are finally pretty much settled here again...it’s been exactly 9 months, and the contractor did a fantastic job, so we have no complaints. We thought we were all set before, but...not so. We are installing cameras throughout and hope that covers everything. At our ages, the old coping mechanisms are a bit shot!
We too have returned from Florida to frozen pipes. The power was still out when we came home late at night. With two woodstoves I could get some heat going at least. Aside from ice in the toilets which I thawed with a torch, the damage was limited to a split shower valve. I've since installed a generator and have Nest cameras. For peace of mind I placed a small thermometer on the shelf with the camera. The camera is a fish eye lens so the thermometer doesn't block the view. I can check it on my phone anytime.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:24 PM   #28
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We too have returned from Florida to frozen pipes. The power was still out when we came home late at night. With two woodstoves I could get some heat going at least. Aside from ice in the toilets which I thawed with a torch, the damage was limited to a split shower valve. I've since installed a generator and have Nest cameras. For peace of mind I placed a small thermometer on the shelf with the camera. The camera is a fish eye lens so the thermometer doesn't block the view. I can check it on my phone anytime.
That’s what we are getting, so we can check from phone any time. Nothing is 100%, but it should help to have these aids in place. Hope it works for you!
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Circling back on my original Post earlier this summer about heading South this winter, and home concerns, see below !

QUOTE:
Next winter I plan to go South for the months of Dec-Apr, had enough of these cold winters.......

That said, what are the things I need to do to winterize my home ?
House is 15 yrs old, well insulated, 4 BR, 4 Baths, Gas/Propane furnace,
with drilled Well.

I plan to have someone, check the house on a weekly basis.
Looking for a checklist of to-do items."


New Notes....

1. I plan to have someone locally check the house at least once a week.
2. Will be leaving heat on and set to 52 degrees.
3. Have 'Temperature' sensors in house tied to alarm system (Monitoring Serv)
4. Have 'Water' sensor placed near hot water heater, in house tied to alarm
system (Monitoring Service)
5. All toilets will be drained and each shut-off valves closed
6. All inside walls with water pipes (kitchen, baths), that are against outside
walls, will be insulated
6. Driveway will be plowed after major snow storm
7. Some inside lights will be on timers
8. Have notified Propane provider about winter plans, so deliveries can be
scheduled.

Other suggestions appreciated, thanks !!!
If I were you even though you are able to heat the house, I'd blowout all the plumbing and antifreeze all the drain lines and toilets. You're biggest concern here is power loss and therefore the inability to heat the house.

Your homeowners insurance probably requires your driveway is cleared of snow for emergency access.
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:39 AM   #30
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Default NH Energy Program

http://www.repa-nh.org/content/homeowners-guide

A wealth of information for NH home owners.

If you call your utility company they may provide an energy audit at no cost.

If not it is money well spent. No guessing!
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:17 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by MAXUM View Post
If I were you even though you are able to heat the house, I'd blowout all the plumbing and antifreeze all the drain lines and toilets. You're biggest concern here is power loss and therefore the inability to heat the house.

Your homeowners insurance probably requires your driveway is cleared of snow for emergency access.
I do a half-assed version of this. I turn off water main in basement, then flush all the toilets and open spigots in basement. This does not eliminate all the water, but it at least minimizes the water in the pipes. Reduces chance of freezing, and if there is something cracked somewhere, it will not leak until you are back in the house and can arrest flow immediately.

Also, this allows me to come up for a few weekends and turn the water on/off quickly
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:20 AM   #32
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I do a half-assed version of this. I turn off water main in basement, then flush all the toilets and open spigots in basement. This does not eliminate all the water, but it at least minimizes the water in the pipes. Reduces chance of freezing, and if there is something cracked somewhere, it will not leak until you are back in the house and can arrest flow immediately.

Also, this allows me to come up for a few weekends and turn the water on/off quickly
That's not a bad compromise, just doesn't address any "low spots" in the system that will collect water. At least it is not under pressure and like you said there is room for some freeze expansion. Low spots really become the only liability at that point.

It's really pretty simple and inexpensive to get the stuff necessary to blow the house if you wanted to go that route.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:34 AM   #33
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Porcelain toilets are the first thing that crack because there's zero stretch in the very rigid porcelain, is similar to glass, and it will crack down low in the trap, down at the floor.

Is best to pour a pint of pink recreational vehicle antifreeze, $2.58 gal, into the toilet and into the water closet, after you pump out all the water with a boat bailer pump, hand pump out tool.

Ditto this for the bath tub and shower, drain trap. The boat bailer hand pump comes with a 36" long, thin flexible red tube, good for getting down into the bath tub drain trap.

Hey ...... today is September 21, 2020 ...... so, it is still S-U-M-M-E-R ....... and winter is way far, three months away! Autumn 2020 officially starts tomorrow on Tuesday, September 22, at 9:30-am ...... according to www.timeanddate.com. At 12-noon on September 22, 2020, the sun will be directly overhead at the equator, like down there in the mountains of Ecuador ..... where Juan Valdez and his happy donkey grow the mountain coffee beans, just for you.
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:27 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Circling back on my original Post earlier this summer about heading South this winter, and home concerns, see below !

QUOTE:
Next winter I plan to go South for the months of Dec-Apr, had enough of these cold winters.......

That said, what are the things I need to do to winterize my home ?
House is 15 yrs old, well insulated, 4 BR, 4 Baths, Gas/Propane furnace,
with drilled Well.

I plan to have someone, check the house on a weekly basis.
Looking for a checklist of to-do items."


New Notes....

1. I plan to have someone locally check the house at least once a week.
2. Will be leaving heat on and set to 52 degrees.
3. Have 'Temperature' sensors in house tied to alarm system (Monitoring Serv)
4. Have 'Water' sensor placed near hot water heater, in house tied to alarm
system (Monitoring Service)
5. All toilets will be drained and each shut-off valves closed
6. All inside walls with water pipes (kitchen, baths), that are against outside
walls, will be insulated
6. Driveway will be plowed after major snow storm
7. Some inside lights will be on timers
8. Have notified Propane provider about winter plans, so deliveries can be
scheduled.

Other suggestions appreciated, thanks !!!
Use some of that environment friendly RV Anti Freeze, and be very generous when using it. Always better to use more rather than less. Pour it in all the traps and all the drains.

NOTE: I had trouble finding it a month or so ago. I think there may have been a shortage due to Covid production shut downs. If you find it then buy it right away! Not sure where supplies stand today especially during the cooler weather.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:18 AM   #35
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Use some of that environment friendly RV Anti Freeze, and be very generous when using it. Always better to use more rather than less. Pour it in all the traps and all the drains.

NOTE: I had trouble finding it a month or so ago. I think there may have been a shortage due to Covid production shut downs. If you find it then buy it right away! Not sure where supplies stand today especially during the cooler weather.
JR's usually has it posted that they have it, but I've not seen it yet. Belletetes/AB in Moultonborough has it posted they have some.

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Old 09-22-2020, 07:38 AM   #36
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I blow out the water lines and the lawn sprinklers with a compressor. I also drain and blow out the water heater, I drain and plunge the toilets to remove as much water as possible. Then I put RV antifreeze in the toilets and push that through with a plunger.

Probably overkill but I have never had a problem. When I return in the spring there is still air pressure in the lines when I open the faucets.

Last week WalMart had gallons of RV antifreeze for about half the price of a gallon at Lowes.
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Old 09-22-2020, 01:31 PM   #37
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Of course my first thought is why don't you install a solar array with battery backup; you would have constant power even when the grid is down and the advantage of free self consumption all year 'round ...but that's just me
On a more instant and affordable note, consider plugging in an oil filled radiator with a thermostat in your basement and set it a few degrees below what you are setting your hvac system at. It shouldn't come on unless your regular heat system has failed but if it does it will be the best 80 bucks you ever spent
...unless the heat is out because we have had an ice storm and you have lost power for a couple of days, in which case give me a call next Spring
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:18 AM   #38
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Question Somethings Changed...

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Originally Posted by TheTimeTraveler View Post
Use some of that environment friendly RV Anti Freeze, and be very generous when using it. Always better to use more rather than less. Pour it in all the traps and all the drains.

NOTE: I had trouble finding it a month or so ago. I think there may have been a shortage due to Covid production shut downs. If you find it then buy it right away! Not sure where supplies stand today especially during the cooler weather.
Wolfeboro's Bradley's Hardware has RV anti-freeze, but it's not the orange-colored anti-freeze of prior years--it's pink!

Didn't I read just yesterday, there's a recall, because it's not as effective as last year's?
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:36 AM   #39
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Default Pinko

We have used pink antifreeze for years at our place on East Bear Island. 🐻
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:56 AM   #40
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Most importantly, we shut off the circuit breaker to our well pump. There is enough water in the pressure tank should the boiler need any makeup...not really an issue in the past.That way, if disaster strikes, there is only. small amount fo water that can leak. We also have an internet camera set on our oil tank gauge in our crawl space. Since it is pitch black, our camera has night vision so we can always read how much oil we have on hand. We installed a simple switch on our water heater that is supplied by our boiler, so by turning the switch off, the water is not constantly heated during the winter. In addition, we have internet based thermostats, so we cna always check the exact temperature in the house. Set the thermostats at 50 degrees. Based on the past, it takes at least 2 hours for our house to cool enough toget down to 32, allowing time to solve issues.
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:24 AM   #41
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Always pink antifreeze here too. By the way, are these just rumors about antifreeze shortages or recalls. I was able to buy mine no problem at Aubuchon in Meredith and I was unable to find anything on any antifreeze recalls on the internet save a vague reference to a possible Prestone recall.
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:27 PM   #42
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Arrow Keep an Eye on This...

An antifreeze recall is being discussed at this [Boating] thread:

https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...ad.php?t=26378
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:41 AM   #43
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Default Wallas cottage heater-Wallas 40cc model

I think the CC stands for country cottage, maybe? Wallas kerosene heaters, made in Finland, are known for their marine heaters in small boats, but they also make heaters for rv's and cottages.

Powered by kerosene and controlled with 12-volt dc, the Wallas 40CC cottage heater can be started remotely by sending it a text message while starting out in your Volvo, and it will text you back, letting you know, yuuuh!

How smart is that! Made in Finland where it do get cold ...... yuuuh ...... is your first text to start it up, and the heater's reply text coming back to you will say ..... yuuuh, yuuuh!
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Old 10-08-2020, 09:27 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Circling back on my original Post earlier this summer about heading South this winter, and home concerns, see below !

QUOTE:
Next winter I plan to go South for the months of Dec-Apr, had enough of these cold winters.......

That said, what are the things I need to do to winterize my home ?
House is 15 yrs old, well insulated, 4 BR, 4 Baths, Gas/Propane furnace,
with drilled Well.

I plan to have someone, check the house on a weekly basis.
Looking for a checklist of to-do items."


New Notes....

1. I plan to have someone locally check the house at least once a week.
2. Will be leaving heat on and set to 52 degrees.
3. Have 'Temperature' sensors in house tied to alarm system (Monitoring Serv)
4. Have 'Water' sensor placed near hot water heater, in house tied to alarm
system (Monitoring Service)
5. All toilets will be drained and each shut-off valves closed
6. All inside walls with water pipes (kitchen, baths), that are against outside
walls, will be insulated
6. Driveway will be plowed after major snow storm
7. Some inside lights will be on timers
8. Have notified Propane provider about winter plans, so deliveries can be
scheduled.

Other suggestions appreciated, thanks !!!
Adding to my list of preventive things to do:
I believe TummyMan indicated to shut off the circuit breaker to your well pump........

I also have a Culligan water filtration system that is fed from my Well tank/pump, I guess it would make sense tp pull the circuit breaker for that also ?

Last... if I'm not generating any hot water, does it make sense to pull the Breaker to my hot water heater (note, it's a gas HWH) ? Does it make sense to drain the hot water tank, otherwise the water is just sitting in there all winter, without recycling, thinking that way cause me issues in the Spring, when I start everything back up ?

Thoughts ?

Last edited by bigdog; 10-08-2020 at 09:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-08-2020, 09:51 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Adding to my list of preventive things to do:
I believe TummyMan indicated to shut off the circuit breaker to your well pump........

I also have a Culligan water filtration system that is fed from my Well tank/pump, I guess it would make sense tp pull the circuit breaker for that also ?

Last... if I'm not generating any hot water, does it make sense to pull the Breaker to my hot water heater (note, it's a gas HWH) ? Does it make sense to drain the hot water tank, otherwise the water is just sitting in there all winter, without recycling, thinking that way cause me issues in the Spring, when I start everything back up ?

Thoughts ?
Be sure that you have a reliable person do the house checking. We paid someone to do it, and he didn’t live up to his advertising, and we had the burst pipe, flooded first floor and lots of damage and aggravation. Ten months later, and we are still not through getting everything back in order.
We had thought everything was in great shape to leave. It sounds as though you have everything covered, and I hope that’s the case. Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:25 PM   #46
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Default Shutting off water and hot water heater

8gv, mentioned shutting off water and hot water heater, and I totally agree !

In my case I have a gas furnace and gas hot water heater......
Should I, drain my hot water heater ? If I don't do this, when I turn back on several months later, I'd be using stagnant water.

Thoughts ?
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:36 PM   #47
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8gv, mentioned shutting off water and hot water heater, and I totally agree !

In my case I have a gas furnace and gas hot water heater......
Should I, drain my hot water heater ? If I don't do this, when I turn back on several months later, I'd be using stagnant water.

Thoughts ?
I know you plan to leave the house at 52 degrees, but if there is bad or prolonged storm situation then there is always the risk of the temperatures falling below freezing (even though you are taking precautionary measures). I don't believe you will have a gas service interruption but do you really want to take the risk?

With that said, I wouldn't hesitate to drain the hot water heater. It's easiest enough to do, and it's easy enough to fill it back up again when you return. And, you won't have any stagnant water!
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:43 PM   #48
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Shouldn’t the water tank be drained yearly regardless of use?


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Old Today, 07:16 PM   #49
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Default Well Pump and Gas Furnace Shutdown ?

First, sorry if these questions which sound stupid and rudimentary, but have never shutdown house systems for long periods of time…..

Well Pump Shutdown
Trying to determine electrical source for my well-pump ? I checked my main electrical panel and see two15 amp block fuses, the label on the panel box says ‘Well’, is it safe to assume this is the electric source for the pump ?
So shutting off the fuse block will shut-off the pump, correct ?

Gas furnace shutoff
I don’t see any shutoff for my gas furnace on my electrical panel, there is a shut-off valve on the water heater, but that is for the ‘gas’. Do you think the actual shut-off for the furnace is tied to the furnace which is also gas ?
I do have a fuse block on the electrical panel for furnace.

Last, there is a 110v wire that comes off the gas furnace, and plugs into an outlet, what is its’ purpose ?
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Old Today, 08:24 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
First, sorry if these questions which sound stupid and rudimentary, but have never shutdown house systems for long periods of time…..

Well Pump Shutdown
Trying to determine electrical source for my well-pump ? I checked my main electrical panel and see two15 amp block fuses, the label on the panel box says ‘Well’, is it safe to assume this is the electric source for the pump ?
So shutting off the fuse block will shut-off the pump, correct ?

Gas furnace shutoff
I don’t see any shutoff for my gas furnace on my electrical panel, there is a shut-off valve on the water heater, but that is for the ‘gas’. Do you think the actual shut-off for the furnace is tied to the furnace which is also gas ?
I do have a fuse block on the electrical panel for furnace.

Last, there is a 110v wire that comes off the gas furnace, and plugs into an outlet, what is its’ purpose ?


I am not an electrician but I think the easiest way to verify the power source for your pump would be to turn the faucet on and pull the specific fuse(s). If the water then stops flowing then you've got the right one!

I personally look at fuses as a pain in the butt! I would think you may want to consider updating your panel with circuit breakers at some point in time.....
Maybe a good 2022 project.....


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